Van der Vaart asks to leave
Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart pleaded with his German club Hamburg on Monday to let him leave for a "dream" move to Spanish team Valencia. Hamburg denied earlier in the day that they had received an offer for their captain, but van der Vaart has now said that his mind is set on a move. "I am determined to leave and Valencia would be a dream for me," the 24-year-old said in an interview published in yesterday's Hamburger Abendblatt. "If I have to stay at Hamburg, that would be very painful for me," he added. Hamburg later admitted to receiving an offer for the former Ajax star, but said they were determined to keep the player they signed in 2005. "In this particular case, money is of no importance," Hamburg sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer said.
Riley to coach through 2010
Miami Heat coach Pat Riley said on Monday that he will coach for three more NBA seasons. After the Heat were swept by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Riley indicated that he was unsure if he would return to the bench. But on Monday, he said: "I have decided that I'm going to coach another three years, the term of my contract." "And that's why it's taken so long for me to make this decision. I don't want to be a `one and done' guy every year." Riley, 62, guided the Heat to the Southeast Division title last season. But it was a difficult season for Riley, who left the team for 22 games at midseason to undergo hip and knee surgeries. It marked the second time Riley left the team. He handed over the reins to assistant Stan Van Gundy just prior to the start of the 2003-2004 season, saying he was in need of a break.
Kallis resigns position
Jacques Kallis has resigned as South Africa's vice-captain following his omission from the country's Twenty20 world championship squad. He also said on Monday he was considering his playing future after not being selected. Selection convenor Joubert Strydom said Kallis was being rested for the tournament, which will be played in South Africa next month, but the all-rounder said he was disappointed to be left out. "I have resigned as vice-captain and I'm considering my options with regard to the rest of my career," Kallis said. "I have been thinking long and hard over the weekend and there is still a lot of emotion involved because I am extremely disappointed. I was very excited about the tournament and hoping to make a huge contribution." Kallis's status as one of South Africa's greatest players is assured, but at times he has been criticized for slow batting.
Advocaat to coach Aussies
Dutchman Dick Advocaat has agreed to become Australia's new soccer coach but the deal is being kept under wraps until the end of the Russian championship season in November, Australian media said yesterday. Advocaat has made it clear he wants to do the right thing by his club, Zenit St Petersburg, as they chase the Russian title and doesn't want to publicly agree to a new job until his present one is complete, the Daily Telegraph reported. But Advocaat, who twice managed the Netherlands and took the Dutch to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup, is expected to be unveiled as Graham Arnold's successor with the Socceroos before the end of the year.